What Happens When We Die?

July 10, 2013


What happens when we die?

An existential question plaguing humanity since the dawn of man, now answered.

Some readers may have expected a heartfelt story about some near-death experience, where I was heading toward a light at the end of a drawn out, cliché-ridden tunnel.

Sorry to disappoint. If you are looking for clichés, read Cinderella. This is an angry screed!

Today, I proclaim — with 100 percent certainty — what happens when we die … since, just last week, I experienced the process first hand. Here it goes …

He was pronounced dead at 5:01 p.m. on a Thursday evening. By 5:02 p.m., the process was already in full swing. “He” is my grandfather. The old man passed away last week due to terminal lung cancer. He is one of the only known cases to have survived so long with the sheer amount of cancer cells percolating in his bloodstream.

black widowBut those who die are fortunate not to see what happens afterward. By 5:02 p.m. on that fateful Thursday, Granddaddy’s “girlfriend” had already left the hospital, wiped out the family heirlooms and jewelry, and went straight to the local pawn whores to cash in on death. Not too much later, other family or friends crawled out of the woodwork to see what was owed them.

This past weekend was worse than any hell I could imagine be condemned to. I witnessed families be torn apart by death — because their selfishness and greed overruled the grief they should have been exhibiting over the loss of a loved one.

black widow_2

Subsequently after death, the living swoop in like vultures and pick at the carcass of a man’s amast material possessions — or anything else in that wake — leaving just a trail
of hurt feelings and disappointment behind.

So, I ask again: What happens when we die?

People come to pick at our carcass, that’s what happens when we die.  At the end of the day, the events of the past week have just confirmed what my Darwinian-influenced self already suspected: Humans have again evolved — from mammals to parasites.

old man young womanI wish I had some story to conclude with that would make everyone feel better. Like lightning came down from the sky or a great wave washed away all the bad people. The one take away I have from the aforementioned is that I’ve lost all patience for fake people.

Why pretend to like someone you don’t? Why force yourself to sooth others who don’t deserve soothing?

I’d like to believe people’s behavior this past weekend were a result of bath salts or other experimental drug gone horribly wrong. If there’s an afterlife, maybe I should take solace that, one day, some of those greedy motherfuckers may find themselves sharing a cramped cell with Chris Brown and Bjork, thus condemned to black widowan eternity of bad music and bad tempers.

On the last day of mourning, I found myself in my Grandpa’s room watching a bunch of strangers going around claiming things. All the while missing him — and watching this spectacle — I wondered where in the hell Casey Anthony was when you desperately needed her to get rid of some unwanted house guests.


Jason Singer is a bereaved editorial intern at the Metro Times. Send comments to letter

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  • Bob Dobbs

    Is this the same intern who was happy to be offered heroin while downtown a few issues back? Yep, a quick Google search says it’s the case.

    So the idea is, if the event happens in Jason’s life it must be a universal truth? I guess ideas of sample size and the scientific methods are not things he has come across thus far.

    Jason, I am glad that you have led a life sheltered from the crime the besets much of the world, sorry to hear about your family though.

  • TenableBelief

    Sadly, this is the case in virtually every death I’ve witnessed. Less than 6 hours after one death, family drove from Chicago (5 hours away) and when we arrived, our headlights caught 2 nephews digging up the backyard looking for loot!!

    It is shocking to a young person the first time they experience it themselves and can only be explained this way: it’s not just ‘some other people’ who are douchebags, it’s EVERYONE (in their own way, at certain times)!